Get Real Series
HOW TO STOP COMPARING YOUR BUSINESS TO YOUR COMPETITION
by Kasey Kyprianou
“A rising tide lifts all boats.”
If you’re in the wedding industry, you know that this is the motto of the Rising Tide Society, and while super idealistic in nature, it’s not always easy to do. I am guilty of following other designers and getting imposter syndrome just as badly as anyone else.
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, burnt out, and feel hopeless as a solopreneur. It can seem like your industry is oversaturated and that you don’t provide anything unique enough besides just being you. Is that enough?
Well, it’s a great start. But who are you? What makes you different? Why do you people want to work with you? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, do some soul-searching. You can’t sell yourself if you don’t know what you’re selling. I have this running joke that I know myself down to being a shoe string fry--when I desperately want to be a curly fry.
The best thing I learned when launching my non-traditional design studio, revelry + heart, was to find out what my competition was doing, what the industry was doing, and swim like a salmon upstream in the opposite direction.
Trends? Fuck 'em.
Pantone color of the year? No thanks.
Fashion collection runway releases? I’m good.
Blame my rebel streak, (it’s cause I was born during Mercury retrograde), blame the fact that I never fit in with the cool crowd, blame my creative side, I just hate everything haute.
So how did I change up how I approached wedding stationery? I made it black. I made it on wood. I made it on tile. I make kickass wedding invitations that are keepsakes before your guests even get to your wedding. They make people talk.
Because people talk anyway right? Might as well get them talking for the right reasons.
How did I take it farther? I made my motto “following hearts, not trends.” I don’t design frilly invitations with lace anymore, I source that shit out to the people who do it and love it. I design only when my heart is in the job, when I can push my clients without pushing them away.
I design for people who revel in their authenticity and crave statement pieces that evoke conversation.
And if you think I make piecemeal, think again. I design wedding aesthetics, taking couple’s personalities and pushing them into every available space. From hashtags, to unique ceremony suggestions, to signature drink names--I believe everything can be personalized way beyond just slapping on a monogram.
Yesterday I suggested making an ice cream sandwich and eating it as a unity ceremony. Because why the hell not.
My couples are not afraid to be themselves and push boundaries with me. It makes them stand out and have weddings that are unlike anything else their family and friends have ever seen. They are totally unique celebrations of their love with something the mass market can never capitalize on--a relationship with a creative like me who actually listens to them and doesn't try to cram them into a box or a design that I made 6 months ago.
How am I disrupting the industry? I do facebook live shows on topics like “stop slut shaming your wedding” and “don’t have shitty wedding favors.” I drink wine with my followers and host a kickass wedding planning group--where industry professionals are not only welcomed, but encouraged.
I approach topics like anxiety during engagement openly.
On the business side, well, I don’t follow rules there either. I charge for proposals. Couples get the retainer back when they book a package with me, but otherwise, it pays for my time, my ideas and my sketches.
I create mood boards with little to no influence based on pinterest weddings, but rather photos of the couples’ venue, pets, homes, and passions. Pulling elements from them to create something unique like canine bohemian chic or retro molar elegance. Yes. Molars, like the teeth. I guess you could say I pull teeth for my DDS couples. Dedication to my craft, amirite?
I have DIY options for couples that want the insight and some skill of a professional designer, but can’t afford full service design for their whole wedding.
I don’t follow … okay, I try not to follow stationery designers. If they do social media better than me, it gets to me, even though I know first-hand that an epic performance on social media does not equal profit, bookings or success.
I openly bash styled shoots. I create controversy because it gets people thinking, and talking about how to do it differently.
So how can you disrupt your industry? What is something that’s common in your craft that you can flip on its head? What rules are you willing to shatter? What assumptions do you want to break free of?
Because your gut is right. There ARE a ton of people who do what you do, at the core of it all. But if you find how you solve your client’s pain points, there will be no competition.
Go out there and kick ass.
Kasey Kyprianou is the owner and founder of revelry + heart, a custom design studio for couples that revel in their authenticity and crave design that evokes conversation. In a past life, Kasey was a graphic design student who interned at a stationery store in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was there that she worked on projects with the likes of Brenden Fraser and Flo Rida. Now, a seasoned business owner, she owns her own studio and designs for her own celebrity clients around the world. She's an envelope-pusher, a family treaty peacemaker, timeline expert and non-traditional stationery queen.
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Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?
🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses.
YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:
- ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written?
- 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?
- ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it?
- 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?
- 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?
- 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?